Minneapolis and Tours Sister Cities is a  501 (c)(3) tax-exempt charity; donations are tax deductible.

The mission of Minneapolis and Tours Sister Cities is to enhance cultural understanding and economic development between the City of Tours and the City of Minneapolis through active community building.

Building Community
Specifically, over the next five years, Minneapolis and Tours will focus its resources and attention on opportunities and projects that promote local and global sustainability. Minneapolis and Tours will plan and foster activities that address the current economic, social, and cultural needs of our city, while preserving the environment for future generations.

Read more about Tours on our Meet Minneapolis sister cities page.

Minneapolis-Tours Timeline

As part of his international strategy, the mayor of Tours, Jean Royer, and his deputy mayor, Christiane Baillaud, began to seek international partner cities with whom they could build an association promoting economic development. They visited Minneapolis to make a presentation to the FACC and make other connections. A proposal was put forward to the Minneapolis City Council.

Sister cities relationship is approved by the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Don Fraser. Visit to Tours by a delegation from Minneapolis to sign relationship agreement on April 13, 1991 and become acquainted with the commercial, educational and cultural dimensions of Tours. Citizens leading the effort to create the partnership included Jasmine Keller, then honorary consul to France and past president of the Alliance Francaise, and Sara Monick, a culinary and travel professional. Tours participates in Eurotech! Conference in Minneapolis.

Elected officials from Tours visit Minneapolis, including then deputy mayor Serge Babary. Touraine artists photo exhibit on display in then Pillsbury Center in Minneapolis.

Tours participates in second Eurotech! Conference.

Summer Exchange: French youth visit Minneapolis. Minneapolis Public Library hosts intern from Tours.

Summer Exchange: Tours welcomes Minneapolis youth. The Blake School welcomes first group from Lycée Descartes. A presentation is given on municipal election at the Alliance Française.

The Blake School sends students to Lycée Descartes. Two business owners from Tours visit textile trade show.

The Blake School receives second group from Lycée Descartes. Mallet Workshop, a youth percussion group from Tours, is welcomed by Rimshots!, a youth percussion ensemble at the MacPhail Center. They performed several joint concerts at Peavey Plaza, Lake Harriet bandshell and Nicollet Island Pavilion, as well as performances in Duluth and Stillwater.

The Rimshots! are welcomed in Tours. One of the highlights, part of the Fete de la Musique, was a performance in front of the Roman Wall where they were part of a large group of marimba players.

Bruce Henry, jazz vocalist, was welcomed by Yannick Guillot of Mallet Workshop to perform a vocal concert in Tours.

Plymouth Music Series Ensemble Singers (now known as VocalEssence) perform in Tours at the close of an European tour which took them to Berlin, Dresden, Vienna, Prague, Paris and Tours.

Organ Recital performed by Olivier Vernet at Central Lutheran Church.

Delegation from Tours (Regine Charvet-Pello, Florence Fresnault and Marie-Bernard Amirault-Deiss) visit Minneapolis for premiere performance of the Rose Ensemble’s St. Martin Concert Program based on a 14th century manuscript from the archives of the city of Tours and not heard for centuries.

Rose Ensemble performs St. Martin recital in Tours.

Students from Patrick Henry High School visit Tours.

Delegation from Tours (Regine Charvet-Pello, Colette Girard and Marie-Bernard Amirault-Deiss) is welcomed for Minneapolis Sesquicentennial where all the sister cities were invited to Minneapolis for the first time and Sister Cities Day is launched. Rose Ensemble returns to Tours for Early Music Festival. Lycée Saint-Grégoire exchange with Wayzata High School. Ensemble Diabolus in Musica (Tours) performs La Messe de Nostre Dame at the Basilica of Saint Mary.

Wayzata high school students welcomed by Lycée Saint-Grégoire.

Minneapolis visit of deputy mayors Alain Goudeau & Colette Girard and Director of International Relations Marie-Bernard Amirault-Deiss. Visit by Mayor RT Rybak and Minneapolis City Council Vice-President to Tours. Others in the delegation included the mayor’s wife, Megan O’Hara, Meet Minneapolis President, Melvin Tennant as well as Minneapolis and Tours Sister City board members. A summer intern was also hosted by a local high tech business.

Tours visit by  Bill Deef, International Relations vice President of Meet Minneapolis; Simin Hickman, Minneapolis-Tours Minneapolis;Minneapolis City Council President Barbara Johnson; Sarah Johnson, Minneapolis-Tours blogger and volunteer; Tania Jones, Minneapolis-Tours Website content manager and blogger; and Michael Rainville, Marketing Manager of Meet Minneapolis.

Minneapolis and Tours Sister Cities supports mezzo soprano Clara Osowski and pianist Mark Bilyeu on a two week tour of Tours. They were selected to participate in the Académie Francis Poulenc art song festival and workshop.

Students from Pierre Bottineau French Immersion Elementary School in North Minneapolis correspond with counterparts at Ecole Primaire Anatole France in Tours as part of Bon Appetit, learning about culinary traditions and sharing holiday recipes while practicing their French and English.

Members of Minneapolis and Tours Sister Cities and other community members journey to Tours to visit the Foire de Tours in preparation for showcasing Minnesota as the featured region in 2017. Minneapolis hosts the Sister Cities International conference, highlighted by a delegation of Tours students participating in the world flag ceremony at the opening reception on Peavey Plaza.

A delegation from Tours, including Mayor Serge Babary, visited Minneapolis in July to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of our sister cities partnership and continue preparation for showcasing Minnesota as the featured region at the 2017 Foire de Tours.


In May, we celebrated the biggest event in our 26 year history – an extensive exhibit showcasing Minnesota at the Foire de Tours (an event similar to our state fair). We also celebrated the “Year of America” in Tours, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 1917 United States establishment of a pilot training facility in Tours during World War I, and were honored to attend the opening of a poster exhibit at the Chateau de Tours featuring nearly 50 World War I posters on loan from the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis.


A group of Minnesota sketchers went to Tours and met with local urban sketchers to sketch buildings and outdoor life in Tours. They are continuing this partnership with future trips.


A group of young female soccer players and their coach from the Twin Cities visited Tours to play friendly matches with players from France.

About Sister Cities International


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